South Africa

Fastbreak in South AfricaPeacePlayers International - South Africa (PPI - SA) is an independently registered charity (NPO No: 024-786-NPO / PBO No: 930023713) that uses basketball to help the young people of KwaZulu-Natal develop important skills to help them carve out a safe and successful path in a society burdened by the impact of HIV/AIDS, unemployment, drug and alcohol abuse, poverty, crime, and strong cultural divides. PPI-SA currently serves approximately 1,000 children from 35 primary schools and over 20 high schools. Our programmes involve youth between the ages of 10 and 24 years old, commencing with a Primary School Programme (PSP), moving on to a Leadership Development Programme (LDP), and rounding off with a Professional Development Programme (PDP), providing a long-term, year-round leadership pipeline. The programmes consist of a set of well-defined weekly activities, special events and tournaments. As PPI-SA has grown, our activities have been extended to the communities of Umlazi, Lamontville, Wentworth, Waterloo, and the greater Durban area.

Since the launch of the program, PPI - SA has:

  • Positively impacted the lives of over 26,000 children;
  • Trained more than 250 young adults as peer educators and mentors in communities of disparate socio-economic and racial backgrounds;
  • Employed an average of 39 youth annually as part-time life skills educators and basketball coaches.
  • Formed strong partnerships with the Harvard School of Public Health’s Centre for the Support of Peer Education (CSPE);
  • Awarded funding from Engen, SASOL, Spring Lights Gas, 3M-SA, Nike-SA, Rand Merchant Bank, The Sports Trust, Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, and The Department of Sports and Recreation KwaZulu-Natal, eThekwini Department of Sports and Recreation;
  • Received the 2008 Laureus Sport for Good Award in St. Petersburg, Russia.  PPI-SA was chosen from 60 international organizations that use sport for social change;
  • Received Proudly South African status and classified as a Public Benefit Organization (PBO No. 930023713); and
  • Profiled in the following publications and media sources:
    • Local:  The Mercury, The Sunday Tribune, Isolezwe, The Rising Sun, The Daily News, Highway Mail, Berea Mail, The Sun, Northglen News, East Coast Radio, Gagasi FM, Durban Youth Radio, Izwi Lomzansi, Lotus FM, durban.thebeehive.or;
    • National:  SABC 1, Engen Slam Dunk, E Television, SABC Radio, SuperSport, Kaelo Stories of Hope on SABC 2;
    • International: NBC’s Today Show; CBS Sunday Morning; Sports Illustrated, ESPN Sportscenter;;; BBC; CNN.

Core Programs

  • Primary School Programme

    Grade 6 and 7 students (ages 10-14) at 35 primary schools in and around the city of Durban participate in weekly practices that combine basketball with life skills education. While introducing participants to the basics of the sport, it raises their awareness about subjects such as teenage pregnancy, drug and alcohol abuse, crime, gender issues, human and children’s rights and the threat of HIV/AIDS.
  • Leadership Development Programme

    PPI - SA recruits students in grades 8 through 12 (ages 14-18) to receive more in-depth basketball and life skills training, as they learn to not only live healthy lives themselves but also serve as leaders within their own families and communities. The Leadership Development Programme is a frequent source of new PPI – SA coaches.
  • Professional Development Programme

    Young people ages 18 through 25 from PPI - SA's partner communities serve as coaches to the organization’s younger participants, while receiving thorough training in both basketball and mentorship. PPI - SA also offers coaches professional training in topics such as resume preparation, financial management and interviewing.

Note: PPI-SA has been granted Section 18(A) status with the South African Revenue Services (SARS) that allows all PPI-SA funders to claim a deduction from personal or corporate taxable income up to a maximum of 10% on annual taxable income. 


Staff Contact: 
Thembinkosi Zulu
Finance & HR Manager
381 King Dinizulu Road (Berea Road), Port Natal Lodge 738, Bulwer, Durban 4001, South Africa
+27 (0)31-201 0591


"In the beginning I participated for the basketball, but then I made friends with the Turkish-Cypriots. Now we play and we all have fun together."
Evripidis Kardamilas, Participant, PeacePlayers International – Cyprus
“I love this organization because it unites Greek-Cypriots with Turkish-Cypriots by doing what we all love, playing basketball!” 
Dimitris Charalambous, Participant, PeacePlayers International - Cyprus
"Through PeacePlayers I have learnt how to share, trust, cooperate, and respect everyone, creating friendship and peace. PeacePlayers taught us whatever your religion or language you are talking, it...
Cetin Pirlanta, Participant, PeacePlayers International - Cyprus
"A lot of kids believe that one kid on the other side is a good person, but every other one is a bad person, and they then carve out these narrow exceptions. What [PPI’s] curriculum is doing is...
Chad Ford, Director, David O. McKay Center for Intercultural Understanding, Brigham Young University
"I’m glad that Ronnie’s taking part in PeacePlayers…hopefully Ronny doesn’t have to go through what I went through at Ronnie’s age.”
Manny Macauley, Parent, PeacePlayers International – Northern Ireland
"By focusing on the game of basketball and the values of sportsmanship, the youth learn to break down stereotypes to contribute to an environment whereby children who play together can learn to live...
Bicommunal Support Program, U.S. Embassy in Nicosia, Cyprus
"I was on the train one day with my Jewish friends and they started making fun of an Arab woman…I told them to stop and that she was embarrassed and that she just wanted to go to work. I then told...
Adiel, Participant, PeacePlayers International – Middle East
"Programmes like this that work at the grass roots level with the young people in our society are vital to achieving sustainable peace within our communities. We are committed to supporting and...
Denis Rooney, CBE, Chairman of the International Fund for Ireland, Chairman, International Fund for Ireland
"I met new players I didn't know before, and learned how to play with new people. The best part was learning things from new players and different areas coming together. I learned you don't have to...
Amir, Participant, PeacePlayers International – Middle East
"We find that the PeacePlayers program brings in life-skills in a non-threatening way, and is helping to educate children on the big issues of HIV…We also find that in the PeacePlayers program, we...
Pamilla Mudhray, CSI Manager, Sasol, South Africa
"If she takes one thing away, it’s to know that there’s no differences from the other community, that everybody’s equal, and that she has great enjoyment with PeacePlayers."
Nula Doherty, Parent, PeacePlayers International – Northern Ireland
"I was scared to death at first. But by the end of the match, I realized we were all the same."
Geina Mdungo, Participant, PeacePlayers Interational – South Africa
“Why did I join? Simple, it gave me purpose and it made me happy. It gave me the feeling of belonging somewhere. It was a place where your goals and hobbies harmonize with the goals of an...
Eleni Partakki, Participant, PeacePlayers International - Cyprus
"Basketball has added a new dimension to our sporting activities. Of course, it improves coordination and also improves communication between the kids themselves. It’s wonderful that PPI has become...
Jennifer Sonasundrum, Principal, Merry Hill Primary School, South Africa
"At the start [playing together] wasn't weird, but it was different because we would never have gotten the opportunity to go out and meet Protestants and be friends with them."
Ann Murphy, Participant, PeacePlayers International – Northern Ireland
"When you get to know your teammates, it doesn’t really matter what their religion is."
Aoife Doherty, Participant, PeacePlayers International – Northern Ireland
"We typically use activities such as art and drama to bridge divides between the youth. We always knew that sport had the potential to do the same, but PPI - ME's sport day went way above and beyond...
Yael Gur, Project Manager, A New Way, Israel
“The reason that I participate in this program and love it so much is because it helps me learn new things while playing my favorite sport. I have made so many new friends, Greek-Cypriots and Turkish...
Victor Petrov, Participant, PeacePlayers International - Cyprus
“PeacePlayers has taught me lots of important things, like how to be a good person, a good friend, and a good leader. One of the most important things it has taught me is how to educate the younger...
Nursu Tilki, Participant, PeacePlayers International - Cyprus
 “Through basketball I got over my fears and the stereotypes that we were taught in school. Basketball helped me to become friends with those guys without even speaking!”
Alexis Georgiou, Participant, PeacePlayers International - Cyprus
"It’s hard to live without my parents, but my PPI coach is always there for me. He’s really more like a brother."
Sihle Cele, Participant, PeacePlayers International – South Africa
"We work in an education system that is divided…PeacePlayers program is pointed towards the integration of those children. You’re getting children to mix in an environment where there’s not the...
Derrick Harkness, Principal, Carrs Glen Primary School, Northern Ireland
“The love the coaches have for basketball inspires us to continually improve our game and they taught us how to be a better person on the court as well in our everyday life” 
Christiana Miltiadous, Participant, PeacePlayers International - Cyprus